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Olympus Announces MX1, Flash System, New Zoom, Teleconverter Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

24 January 2019

Olympus made a slew of announcements today, reaffirming its commitment to the Micro Four Third mirrorless system. The following list links to our coverage of each individual announcement:


We recently attended a briefing covering the announcements with Olympus representative Eric Gensel and Nathan Lloyd, director of marking communications.


Lloyd made a point of emphasizing the core competencies of Olympus: high speed, compact and lightweight Micro Four Thirds solutions. The company has no intention of getting into the mirrorless full frame game, he said, because it's not how Olympus can provide value to the customer.

Yoshihisa Maitani. With documented research and development principles.

Instead, he called our attention to the work of Olympus designer Yoshihisa Maitani, who documented his work on the OM-1 48 years ago with the principles that still guide Olympus today. In short, he advocated lightweight and reliable camera systems.

Development Products

Lloyd introduced the two new products under development:

The 150-400mm zoom with integrated 1.25x teleconverter is equivalent to a 300-1000mm 35mm zoom.

And its range can be doubled by the next optic under development, the MC-20 2x teleconverter.

Details on both products are in our Development Products coverage.


Gensel then talked about the new products: the E-M1X with integrated vertical grip, the wireless flash system and the silver EM-1 Mark II.

E- M1X

The first striking thing about the W-M1X is its body. The vertical grip isn't an optional accessory but built into the frame. With deep finger rests, both horizontal and vertical orientations feel identical and the reach to the M1X's controls are exactly the same. That greatly aids hand-holded shooting, which Olympus pointed out can be done with a 600mm f4 lens.

Buttons have useful labels now, Gensel pointed out, but they can still be reassigned.

And even better, with the My Menu feature you can build your own menu system with five tabs that can hold seven items each.

There is a heat sink to move heat away from the sensor and the shutter has been designed for (and tested to) 400,000 actuations, a good bit more than most. The dust reduction system puts a super-sonic wave filter of its own over the sensor assembly that sports a new coating making it difficult for dirt to adhere.

The system ships with two batteries that use the USB Power Delivery protocol to charge in as little as two hours. The menu system can display charge status, number of shots and battery health.

Autofocus target modes now include Single, Group 5-Point, Group 9-Point, a new Group 25-Point, 121-Point and Small AF options. And a Custom AF target mode lets you select any odd number of points from 11 vertical and 11 horizontal points.

Even better, perhaps, the Intelligent Subject Detection in autofocus pinpoints on a driver's helmet in a race car, the cockpit on aircraft and the engineer's perch on a train.

The M1X's image stabilization has been enhanced with a new gyro sensor which is five times more accurate than conventional IS, Olympus said. With the 12-100mm f4.0 IS Pro lens, combined image stabilization provides up to 7.5 shutter speed steps of compensation.

Gensel also introduced Olympus Workspace, new software to mine the most out of the M1X captures.

For more details see our Olympus OM-D E-M1X coverage.

Wireless Flash System

The wireless flash system is composed of three units: a new strobe, a commander unit and a receiver.

All three are dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof and can communicate as far away as 98.4 feet using radio signals.

For more details see our Wireless System coverage.

Silver EM-1 Mark II

To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Olympus has produced the OM-D E-M1 Mark II Silver. Limited to 2,000 units, the special edition Mark II will be available worldwide at the end of February.

The OM-D E-M1 Mark II features a TruePic VIII image processor and a 20.4-megapixel Live MOS sensor with 121 autofocus points of cross-type on-chip phase detection to provide up to 18 fps high-speed sequential shooting performance in AF/AE tracking.

For more details see our Mark II Silver coverage.

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